MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH
THEATRE: Rain Man, Wycombe Swan, Tue 19 – Sat 23 Mar
I really want to see this one. Based on the Oscar winning blockbuster, the brilliant Paul Nicholls (Eastenders, The C-Word, Death in Paradise, Bridget Jones 2) and Chris Fountain (Hollyoaks) star as the road-tripping brothers in this touring show. wycombeswan.co.uk
THEATRE: Dirty Dancing, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Mon 25 – Sat 30 Mar
If you missed Dirty Dancing last month at the Wycombe Swan the theatre gods have answered your prayers as it’s showing again 30 mins up the road in Aylesbury. I saw it last year with my mum and loved it. It’s like seeing an old friend, they really don’t mess with the film version at all, and the only squeamish moment from memory was the sex scene – zipped along on the big screen but my god it felt like a long time being a voyeur in the theatre! Anyway, Johnny this time round is Michael O’Reilly, previously a dancer with Matthew Bourne and also, titillatingly, one of the Magic Mike performers on The X Factor. Bring your watermelons – apparently overwhelmed women have been throwing them at him.
THEATRE: The Rocky Horror Show, New Theatre Oxford, Mon 25 – Sat 30 Mar
Pelvic-thrusts at the ready for the Time Warp! You can catch Duncan James (Blue, Hollyoaks) in a corset, tights and lippy – yep, you read that right – at Oxford’s New Theatre this month. Also starring is Strictly champ Joanne Clifton and Kristian Lavercombe who’ll be reprising his role as Riff Raff, following more than 1,300 performances in The Rocky Horror Show around the world. My question is – who’s that guy in the leopard budgie smugglers in the back of the photo, he deserves his own show!
TALK: Trust, Fast, Healthy with Michael Moseley, Wycombe Swan, Tues 26 Mar
The doctor behind the 5:2 diet and a regular on health programmes on the telly, Dr Michael Moseley will be discussing common health myths and teaching the audience about the best ways to lose weight (yes please), get fit (yes please) and reduce stress (GAHHHHH!).
MUSIC: Luca Stoll Quartet, The Spin Oxford Jazz Club, The Wheatsheaf, Thurs 28 Mar
Pro Swiss saxophonist Luca Stoll performs in Oxford alongside bassist Dave Green. Between them the musicians have some serious jazz creds including performances with NY drummers Kenny Washington and Alvin Queen as well as Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz and Coleman Hawkins.
THEATRE: The Effect, Modern Art Oxford, Tues 26 – Sat 30 Mar
If you enjoyed watching Emma Stone and Jonah Hill in Maniac on Netflix (it’s definitely worth a watch) then this looks like it’ll be right up your street. Performed in my favourite Oxford gallery by local contemporary theatre company Ronin, The Effect is about two drug trial volunteers who fall in love. Worth a punt.
WORKSHOP: Beginners floristry, Cliveden, Wed 27 Mar
Learn how to make the best of your bunch at this three hour floristry workshop at the National Trust’s Cliveden. You’ll be taught how to choose the best flowers, arrangement and those all important conditioning tips to keep them alive (I’ve never been so good at that part).
OPERA: Welsh National Opera, Milton Keynes Theatre, Wed 27, Thurs 28, Fri 29 Mar
For its Spring season, WNO perform its dramatic new production Un ballo in maschera based on the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden, Wed 27, along with performances of their critically acclaimed productions of opera classics Roberto Devereux, Thurs 28, and The Magic Flute, Fri 29.
COMEDY: The Noise Next Door, The Mill Arts Centre, Thurs 28 Mar
An adults only night, you say? Where do I sign up. Edinburgh Fringe Fest veterans, The Noise Next Door, bring their off-the-cuff improv show promising witty one liners and physical theatre. The troupe’s creds include performances alongside Michael McIntyre and Al Murray as well as stints on the BBC so you’re in good hands.
MUSIC: Fun Lovin’ Criminals, O2 Academy Oxford, Thurs 28 Mar
New York trio Fun Lovin’ Criminals are hitting the road to celebrate the release of their first studio album in eight years, Another Mimosa. You can catch them at the O2 on the cool Cowley Road at the end of the month.
Biagio Spring Wedding Event, Bicester & Thame, Thurs 28 – Sat 30 Mar
Put a ring on it (and save up to 50% while you’re at it) at this annual event from multi Muddy Award-winning Biagio the Jeweller. Expect champers, complimentary engraving and wedding day treats in the Thame or Bicester stores, with the added bonus on Thurs 28 that you can snaffle a free mini mani, styling advice and 20% off any purchases made on the night. Ding flipping dong!
TOUR: Twilight Vintage Bus Tours, Broad Street, Oxford, Sat 30 Mar
Oxford Bus Museum sends out its beautifully restored 1950s and 60s double decker busses onto the streets of Oxford for their annual tour of the city. All buses are restored by volunteers at the museum and will have a conductor dinging the bell and issuing tickets. Tours are free and leave Broad Street every 15 mins from 6.15pm, the last leaving at 8.30pm.
More info here
COMEDY: Sean Walsh, The Beacon, Wantage, Sat 30 Mar
Sean’s new stand up, After This One, I’m Going Home, has been selling like hotcakes (everyone wants the goss on THAT Strictly kiss, no doubt). Still a few tickets left at The Bacon for comedy’s Lothario, so get booking soon if you want to nab them.
KIDS: Day out with Thomas, Didcot Railway, Sat 30 – Sun 31 Mar
I’m always slightly puzzled by the enduring appeal of Thomas, though my oldest son would probably still choose ‘Episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine 2002 – 2007′ as his specialist subject on Mastermind. Anyway, kids can meet the big blue guy, his friends and The Fat Controller at Dicot- hop on rides, activities and stories throughout the day.
KIDS: Lambing Festival, Earth Trust, Abingdon, Sat 30 – Sun 31 Mar
Spring has sprung and so have the baby lambs! The annual lambing festival at this charming outdoor Earth Trust lets kids go behind the scenes of a working farm and feed the baby animals. There’s also bale climbing, activities, tractor rides and the Poem Tree Café will be open for refreshments along with a BBQ serving local grub. It’s pretty lo-fi but in an age of overactive thumbs and smart phones I’m all for it.
CULTURE: Oxford Literary Festival, various locations, Sat 30 Mar – Sun 7 Apr
We love a good lit fest here at Muddy and this one’s a biggie – over 100 events with talks from leading authors and public figures all in fantastic settings including Sheldonian Theatre and Blackwell’s. Highlights this year include interviews with Strictly’s Darcy Bussell, Ranulph Fiennes and Micheal Morpurgo. Other speakers announced include Jo Brand, journo Kate Adie and Nobel Prize winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro.
Punting season is upon us and fingers crossed the sunshine follows. All the local punt spots are now open for business, central Oxford has Magdalen Bridge or Folly Bridge, but if you want to escape the crowds and grab a posh lunch while you’re at it, head to Cherwell Boat House– it’s all very civilised until you fall or crash into the river bank.
Say goodbye to snowdrops and a big hello to daffodils that are springing up everywhere. New for 2019 Cliveden present their new programme The Gilded Gardens, inspired by the 24 carat gilded golden gates on the Sounding chamber and thousands of daffodils that grow across the estate- this year the gardening team have added a further 57 varieties to the existing 20 so there grounds really will be carpeted in canary, until Tues 30 April. Head to the Water Garden and Blenheim Pavilion for the best of ‘em. Stowe will also be brimming with the yellow bloomer, along with other pretty spring foliage. Or head to Waddesdon who’ve named a whole patch of the grounds after the flower, Daffodil Valley.
NEW OPENING: MK Gallery
This place is amazing. This massive stainless steel gallery, designed by cool and contemporary architecture firm 6a, is set to open mid-way through the month, complete with five double height exhibition spaces and The Sky Room that overlooks Campbell Park- it will host the city’s first independent cinema, comedy, concerts and workshops. There’ll also be a community space and new independent café, shop and garden. The gallery’s first exhibit, The Lie of the Land, looks at design, architecture and social history since the 18th century in relation to the city and features work from over 80 artists. Open from Sat 16 Mar.
EXHIBITION: The British Life Photography Awards, Banbury Museum, until Sun 12 May
The photos in this super cool exhibit candidly document everyday life in Britain, from street life and portraiture to Brits on holiday and even the weather- many of them thought provoking, humorous and poignant. Banbury Museum gets a first look being the first venue in the national tour of the best photographs from the 2018 competition- it’s well worth checking out.
OUT OF HIBERNATION
Lots of gorgeous heritage spots waking up ready for Spring this month. First up is Stowe with the house reopening for guided tours on Sun 3 Mar, followed by Sudley Castle just over the border in Glos where there’ll be historical reenactors to greet guests. Claydon opens its house and gardens on Sat 9 Mar- the interiors are awesome and there are some fantastic walks around there- and fellow National Trust Waddesdon Manor reopens its collections for viewing on Wed 27 Mar. There’ll also be monthly tours giving access to unseen parts of the House. Another one over the border if you fancy day tripping is Corsham Court, in Wilts, that’ll be open every day except Mon and Fri from Wed 20 Mar.
For activity days out with the kids, charming Cogges Farm, in Witney, hold their annual opening weekend on Sat 16 – Sun 17 Mar- there’ll be cooking demos in the manor house and loads of baby animals to feed. Plus new for 2019 there are mini ride-on tractors, an improved sandpit and picnic area along with a small pop-up exhibition in the manor house from the film Colette. And Chiltern Open Air Museum opens for it’s Spring season with a themed WW1 day (more reenactors, plus a poppy trail), Sat 30 Mar.
EXHIBITION: An Earthly Paradise: William Morris & the Thames, River & Rowing Museum, until Sun 14 July
I have great memories of taking my family to William Morris’s house in Gloucestershire and having them all sit outside glumly for an hour proclaiming it the most boring thing ever while I drooled over the textiles and furniture. Ah, happy days! Anyway, this exhibition focuses on how the Thames influenced Morris’ work. He had a rural retreat in Oxfordshire, where he loved to boat and fish, ergo the influence of the river in his textiles and designs. Pieces have been collated from the V&A, The William Morris Gallery and the British Library to make this exhibition possible and it also delves into Morris personal life and his politics.
EXHIBITION: Turner, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, until Mon 22 Apr
The Young Turner: Ambitions in Architecture and the Art of Perspective takes place in Blenheim’s Gallery with works from The Ashmolean, The Tate and private collections. The exhibition celebrates some of his earliest commissions and shows his progress in depicting architecture and perspective in drawings, paintings and engravings from the 1780s – 1810s. You can also see one of Turner’s sketchbooks and some diagrams from a lecture he gave to the Royal Academy on perspective, which have rarely been exhibited before.
ART: Jeff Koons at The Ashmolean, Oxford, until Sun 9 Jun
Behemoth of the contemporary art world, Jeff Koons is curating his own exhibition in collaboration with Norman Rosenthal. Spanning Koons’ entire career and showcasing seventeen works, most of which have never been shown in the UK before, the show will include his popular series Equilibrium, Statuary, Banality, Antiquity and his recent Gazing Ball sculptures and paintings.
LONDON DESIGN WEEK
There are a couple of interior shows popping up in London this month if you’re thinking of sprucing up your gaff. First up is London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, Sun 10 – Fri 15 Mar, with 120 showrooms and over of 600 luxury brands- the biggest of its kind in Europe. Later in the month the whopper Ideal Home Show rocks up at Olympia London, Fri 22 Mar – Sun 7 April, with hundreds of free talks, 600 companies and the latest tech. This year the theme is Best of British so expect loads of UK companies. Does anyone else feel a splurge coming on?
FESTIVAL: Women of the World, Southbank, London, Fri 8 – Sat 9 Mar
Girl power! Women of the World fest returns for it’s ninth year with a fabulous line up of debate, discussion, performance and activism all celebrating female achievement. Highlights this year include conversations with Angela Davis, Fri 8, and renowned journo and activist Naomi Klein, Sat 9.
KIDS: Legoland reopens, Fri 15 Mar
Kids rejoice! Legoland reopens for the summer season this month and is hosting events at weekends to celebrate the new The Lego Movie 2, including building activities, character experiences, interactive photo opportunities and more. The park will also be unveiling its newest ride next month, The Haunted House Monster Party, Sat 13 April.
RACING: Cheltenham Gold Cup, Tues 12 – Fri 15 Mar
There’s no stopping Cheltenham races (not even that nasty Equine Flue scare) with four days of betting and booze. The fun kicks off with Champion’s Day on Tues and it’s good news for gin lovers as the Gin and Jazz Lounge returns with cocktails and music everyday until 7pm.
MUSIC: KT Tunstall, Derngate Theatre, Northants, Tues 12 Mar
Winning Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall performs as part of her European and US tour just over the border at Derngate Theatre, just half an hour north of MK. The BRIT Award winner’s hit songs include The Black Horse and the Cherry Tree and Suddenly I See, which was used in the opening credits of The Devil Wears Prada – if Miranda Priestly approves, so do I.
EXHIBITION: Van Gogh and Britain, Tate Britain, London, Wed 27 Mar – Tues 27 Aug
This new major exhibition will be the first to explore the artist’s relationship with Britain and the literature, art and culture that inspired his work. Over 45 works by the artist from public and private collections including Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery, London. There’ll also be work by British artist who were influenced by Van Gogh’s work including Francis Bacon ad David Bomberg.
EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until Sun 14 July
This exhibit, the largest House of Dior collection ever staged in the UK, has been HUGE- it is sold out but there are a few first-come, first served tickets available from 10am (from the Grand Entrance) and it’s well worth trying your luck. Or you can see the exhibit by purchasing a membership for the V&A (plus you get loads of added extras like sneak previews, a magazine subscription and access to the members room). The exhibit traces the history of Christian Dior and the six artistic directors who succeeded him and is based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, plus there’s a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight is the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.
Chilterns Live, Pendley Meadow, Tring, Sat 29 June
Oooh, new and shiny! There’s a brand new festival near our ‘hood! Chilterns Live will be popping up in Tring with a stellar pop line-up of Busted (this got a few squeals in Muddy HQ), Sophie Ellis Bextor, The Feeling and Top Loader.
SUPPER CLUB: Native Feasts, Peterley Manor Farm, Great Missenden, Fri 26, Sat 27 Apr, Fri 3, Sat 4, Fri 10, Sat 11 May
Book that babysitter ASAP- supper club aficionados Native Feasts pop up in the vintage greenhouse at Peterley Manor Farm with five course menus all made with local spring produce. On the menu for April is wild garlic cracked spelt risotto (yum), pressed shoulder of Oxfordshire lamb (double yum), rhubarb and ginger fool and more. There’ll also be a pop-up bar serving artisanal tipple in the form of a curated English wine list, seasonal cocktails and soft drinks.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
EXHIBITION: Pop Art in Print, Banbury Museum, until Sun 3 Mar
Just a few days left to see this awesome exhibit of Pop Art graphics at Banbury Museum that’s on loan from the V&A. There are over 60 pieces from 30+ artists of the 60s, 70s as well as contemporary pieces with huuuuge names including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Damien Hirst- catch it while you can.
EXHIBITION: Fantastic Cities, Modern Art Oxford, until Sun 3 Mar
You’ve got a few days left to catch the first major exhibit of artist and director Penny Woolcock’s work at this quirky central Oxford gallery. Penny began her artistic career in our ‘hood in the 70s and became a pioneer in contemporary visual culture in the UK. Fantastic Cities explores the grit of real life urban experiences, mixing art with activism- it’s pretty cool so well worth snoop around. Check out my review.
ART: Spring Show, Carina Haslam Art, Great Missenden, until Sat 2 Mar
If you’re contemplating buying some new art, you’ve a couple of days left to catch Carina Haslam’s Spring Show. New and existing artists are on display until Mar 3 when they’ll be packed up ready for London’s Affordable Art Fair in Battersea (7 – 10 Mar). And on that note, Muddy readers can get free tickets to the Affordable Art Fair by emailing Carina Haslam here!
MUSIC: Empowered Women Trilogy, SJE Arts, St John’s Church, Iffley Rd, Fri 1 Mar – Sat 2 Mar
Music at Oxford celebrates International Women’s Day with a series of intimate performances about extraordinary women. The pieces will be performed by concert-theatre group The Telling who perform through ballads, music, poetry and story-telling. Classical music critic for The Observer, Fiona Maddocks, will give an accompanying talk on Fri Mar 1.
SCREENING: The Children’s Act, Long Crendon Library, Fri 1 Mar
I saw Ian McEwan give a reading of this a few years ago at the Sheldonian so I was pretty excited when it was turned into a film – with Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci no less! Long Crendon Film Club screen the drama in their pop up cinema’s seventh season. Later in the month, Fri 22 Mar, the cinema is also showing The Wife, which saw Glenn Close nominated for the Best Actress Oscar this year.
KIDS: World Book Day reading, Blackwell’s Westgate, Sat 2 Mar
Bestselling local duo Adam and Charlotte Guillain host a story time of their latest rhyming picture book The World Book Day Monster in Blackwell’s Westgate- just in time for the date next weekend. It’s about a little girl who dresses up as a monster (seems about right!) and for kids 3+. The pair have also written School for Dads ,Spaghetti With the Yeti and Muffins for Mummies. The event is free but you have to register online.
HOME: Henley House and Garden Show, Market Place, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Mar
MARKET: MK Handmade & Vintage Fair, Centre MK, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Mar
MK is known for its high street shopping so it’s great to see the popularity of this massive fair – all 1800sq m space of it outside of John Lewis with over 130 curated stalls from indie businesses, vintage traders, artists, artisan and craftspeople. All items sold at the event are one-offs (and affordable!) including jewellery, homewares, clothing, art, gifts and a few of the designers are available for bespoke commissions.
EXHIBITION: Waddesdon Wedding Inspiration Day, Aylesbury, Sun 3 Mar
Give me a sparkler large enough and I’m yours – just joking Mr M! (Not joking). Waddesdon hosts its wedding inspo day for the fifth year running, offering over 50 curated, luxury and local wedding designers, photographers, florists, entertainers, gastronomes, and professional wedding planners. This year the fair is showcasing the lovely The Dairy and the Five Arrows as venues. Pre-register for a goody bag of freebies.
MUSIC: Vonda Shepard and Sharon Corr, The Stables MK, Mon 4 Mar
I reckon this is the sleeper hit of the month. The Corrs’ Sharon Corr and her bestie Vonda Shepard, the musical star of 90s hit Ally McBeal, team up for a night at The Stables MK. They’ll be singing songs from their solo careers as well as the classics that shot them to fame.
THEATRE: Dracula, The London Library, London, Fri 1 – Sat 9 Mar
Oxford’s quirkiest theatre company, Creation Theatre (I once saw them clad in spandex and gallivant round the Westgate for a production of Brave New World) are setting up shop (well, stage) in London for a new, two man production of Dracula that they first staged (from memory) at Blackwell’s in Oxford. Creation’s USP is all about finding weird and wacky places to perform – this production in The London Library, where Bram Stoker wrote his Gothic novel, hits the jugular.
FESTIVAL: Dancin’ Oxford, various locations, Fri 1 – Sun 10 Mar
The annual dance fest returns for its 13th year with an ongoing programme of workshops, talks and performances popping up in theatres and spaces around the city. This month choose from taster classes in Zumba, street, salsa and African dance, as well as performances by young dance collective Rambert2. The venture also introduces a new Festival Hub, the Lucy Room in Oxford Playhouse and hosts the Festival Launch on a pop up stage in Westgate Oxford, Sat 2 Mar. Full listings here.
WORKSHOP: Free Yoga, LuluLemon, Bicester Village, Sun 10 Mar
The upmarket Canadian fitness brand (a fave among chic NYC yoga bunnies) is putting on anearly morning session with a local instructor in its Bicester Village store. A few mats will be provided, but BYO if you’ve got one knocking around. If mornings aren’t your thing (guilty!) the brand are also hosting an evening to celebrate International Women’s Day, Thurs 7 Mar, in the Athletes Centre, Osney Mead with a fitness class followed by a talk and Prosecco.
THEATRE: Annie The Musical, New Theatre Oxford, Mon 4 – Sat 9 Mar
Direct from a stint on the West End, Anita Dobson (EastEnders, Wicked, Loose Women, Chicago, Call The Midwife) plays the tyrannical Miss Hannigan in Tony Award winning Annie The Musical at Oxford’s New Theatre. The show will be the third of this brand new UK tour.
THEATRE: The Life I Lead, Oxford Playhouse, Tues 5 – Wed 6 Mar
Miles Jupp, of Mock the Week and The Durrells fame (but your kids will probably recognise him as Archie from Balamory) stars in this comic and moving production about David Tomlinson, a.k.a. Mr Banks in Disney’s original Mary Poppins. 12+
KIDS: AniMalcom, Aylesbury Waterside, Wed 6 – Thurs 7 Mar
Story Pocket Theatre dramatises Brit comic and award winning children’s author David Baddiel’s AniMalcolm. The show uses physical theatre and live puppetry to tell the comical tale of Malcolm, a boy who hates animals, as he inhabits the bodies of several farm creatures on a school trip.
KIDS: Zog, The Stables MK, Wed 6 – Thurs 7 Mar
From the writer and illustrator team behind kid’s classic The Gruffalo (I can’t tell you how many times that’s been read in my house!) Zog is a young dragon eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school. If your kids have seen Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Tabby McTat, it’s a sure fire winner as it’s the same team behind the production. You can also catch Zog at Wycombe Swan Wed 13 – Thurs 14 Mar.
WORLD BOOK DAY WEEKEND, Sat 9 – Sun 10 Mar
Get ’em off the iPads and onto the books! Stowe and Hughenden celebrate the date with drop-in storytelling sessions, the latter also has a bookworm trail around the grounds. Cliveden has a family trail as well as the Storybook Play Den (just beyond the maze) with a Charlotte’s Web inspired climbing net, Wind in the Willows boat, carved wooden storybook characters more. At both venues, kids can swap their World Book Day tokens for limited edition books. All are National Trust so there’ll be your usual cafés and shops- don’t forget to dress up!
FESTIVAL: Oxford International Women’s Festival, until Sun 17 Mar
A series of events celebrating women’s successes, strengths and solidarity. This year’s theme is We Will Survive and Thrive and there will be a panel on International Women’s Day on 8 Mar to talk about their experiences around this theme. Guests so far confirmed are Eleanor Smith, MP for Wolverhampton, and Margaret Greer, Unison National Officer for Black Members. Festival events include screenings, talks, workshops, theatre and networking events. Check out the full programme here.
Load of deliciously nerdy events going on this month to get the kids out of the house and secretly learning (mwahaha!) On Sat 16 Mar, kids can have a crack at Lovelace’s Labyrinth with a day of problem solving, puzzles and code breaking. Over in Bucks, Wycombe Museum celebrate British Science Week with mad scientist workshops, crazy experiments, potions and gooey slime, Sun Mar 17, booking essential.
THEATRE: No Kids, Roxburgh Hall, Stowe, Tues 12 Mar
Quirky theatre company Ad Infinitum, Associate Artists at Bristol Old Vic and Oxford’s inspiring The North Wall theatre, comes to Stowe’s Roxburgh Hall with its new original production about a same sex couple deciding if they should have children. 14+
THEATRE: Unmythable, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford Tues 12 Mar
The brilliant Oxford museum opens after hours with this unusual play by inventive theatre company, Out of Chaos, turning Greek myths and tragedies into an anarchic blend of comedy, cross-dressing, stories and songs.
THEATRE: Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Aylesbury Waterside, Tues 12 – Sat 16 Mar
If you enjoyed The Play that goes Wrong and Mischief Movie Night, then you’ll be tickled by this hit comedy from the same team. A priceless diamond is being stored by a corrupt city bank – what could possibly go wrong? A mad-cap fast paced caper with inventive and complicated staging, great visual gags and physical slapstick – all the ingredients for a fun night out.
BALLET: The Russian State Ballet of Siberia, New Theatre Oxford, Wed 13 – Sat 16 Mar
The classical ballet company pirouette on to the New Theatre’s stage for three nights of their 2019 tour, performing La Fille Mal Gardee on Wed 13 and Cinderella on Thurs 14. Swan Lake will be performed on both Fri 15 and Sat 16 Mar.
COMEDY: Paul Sinha, The Potters Arms, Amersham, Thurs 14 Mar
The Potters Arms is without a doubt one of my favourite comedy hotspots and has become a comedy circuit stalwart despite its under-the-radar locale in Amersham. The venue recently had a big refurb, with The Chase’s funnyman Paul Sinah headlining the second show since it reopened last month. Tickets include food in the interval.
KIDS: Tweedy’s Illusion Confusion, The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury, Sat 16 Mar
Missed Tweedy’s sell out turn at Pegasus Theatre in Oxford? Gifford’s Circus’ talisman rocks up to The Mill Arts Centre with his hilarious show. Having been a magician’s assistant in the past, Tweedy decides he wants to be the main man but his attempts at magic go horribly wrong.
COMEDY: Nish Kumar, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Sun 17 Mar
Double Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee Nish Kumar stops off in Aylesbury on his UK tour that touches on politics and humankind’s self-destructive nature- don’t worry, I’m sure it’s funnier than it sounds! A regular on the comedy scene Nish has appeared on Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You and even has his own show on Netflix with fellow comedian Joel Dommet.
WORKSHOP: Pasta making, Jericho Kitchen Cookery School, Sun 17 Mar
Jericho Kitchen Cookery School run all sorts of cool classes and spots usually get nabbed pretty quickly so getting booking if you fancy having a go. This month Italian author and chef Ursula Ferrigno is teaching a Perfect Pasta course where you’ll learn how to make traditional egg pasta, tagliatelle, ravioli (my favourite!) and more.
THEATRE: The Bodyguard, MK Theatre, Tues 12 – Sat 23 Mar, excl Sun 17
Following her West End debut (it was raving reviews all the way for the X Factor winner) and sell-out UK tour in 2016 where I first saw her perform this role, Alexandra Burke reprises her role as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard. Burke won’t be performing in every touring show this time round but MK has made the cut- yippee!
CIRCUS: Circus Zyair, Campbell Park, Milton Keynes, Thurs 14 – Tues 19 Mar
If you loved The Greatest Showman, you’re in luck! Circus Zyair perform at Campbell Park in their heated big top. Expect music, funky costumes and some killer acrobatics. No Hugh Jackman though, sorry.
THEATRE: Abigail’s Party, Aylesbury Waterside, Mon 18 – Sat 23 Mar
The cocktails are flowing and disco music is playing- sounds like my sort of party! West End star Jodie Prenger, Vicky Binns (Coronation Street, Emmerdale) and Daniel Casey (Midsomer Murders) star in this comical satire about warring couples in 1970s British suburbia.
THEATRE: Rock of Ages, New Theatre Oxford, Tues 19 – Sat 23 Mar
Rock on baby! Strictly winner Kevin Clifton dons distressed denim, leather and some very questionable wigs in this smash hit musical about an LA love story, featuring over 25 classic rock songs. Oxford will be the fifth stop on the musical’s mega tour.
MUSIC: Ady Suleiman, O2 Academy Oxford, Wed 20 Mar
I’ve been listening to Ady for a while now (he features in Muddy HQ playlists) and he’s one cool guy with real talent for songwriting. Mixing R&B, funk, neo-soul and jazz he self-released his debut album Memories last year and is stopping at Oxford’s 02 on his first headline tour.
KIDS: Dear Zoo, The Theatre, Chipping Norton, Thurs 21 – Sat 23 Mar
This family friendly show, based on Rod Campbell’s best-selling lift the flap book, stops off in Chippy on its second tour. Expect audience interaction, music and puppets. 2+
Art on the Hill, Brill School, nr Aylesbury, Sat 23 – Sun 24 Mar
Art on the Hill, a pop-up gallery in the lovely hilltop village of Brill (famed for its windmill and The Pointer pub) started off as a small fundraiser for the local school. Now in its 20th year it punches well above its weight, showcasing fantastic and affordable artwork, sculpture, photography and more by over 70 artists from Bucks, Oxon and further afield. There are also creative workshops for kids across the weekend, homemade food in the café and a marketplace selling gifts. Children from Brill School exhibit alongside (a lovely touch). It’s well worth a mooch around and you may even snaffle a new statement piece for your living room.
MUSIC: Norman Jay MBE, Clayton’s Marlow, Sat 23 Mar
Ahhh, now this one takes me back to good times! The co-founder of pirate radio KISS FM and the legendary Good Times Sound System comes to Clayton’s Marlow with his vinyl collection and hat in tow.
SCIENCE: ATOM Festival, various locations, until Wed 27
This annual festival, held in various locations across Abingdon, aims to make science accessible for all with a jam packed programme of talks, lectures and family activities. Highlights this year include a talk by BBC’s resident maths whizz Dr Hannah Fry, The 3 Million Dollar Challenge, stand up science comedy from Dr Anna Polszajski and a family science fair.
Full programme here
RUN: OX5 Charity run, Blenheim Palace, Sun 24 Mar
On your marks, get set… stroll! Blenheim’s biggest annual fundraiser returns- a five mile run, jog or walk around the beautiful parkland with proceeds going to Oxford Children’s Hospital. If you enter in a team of five or more, you can also compete for one of the charity cups like best family team and best fundraiser.